Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) took part in a panel discussion organised in conjunction with Kuntamarkkinat in Helsinki on Wednesday, 11 September 2019. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

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PRIME MINISTER Antti Rinne (SDP) has conceded that the government does not have the funds needed to hire 4,000 new nurses and physicians by the end of the current electoral term, provoking the dismay of the Finns Party and the National Coalition.

It has been estimated that 4,000 health care professionals are required to raise the staffing level at facilities providing around-the-clock care to 0.7 per patient.

“The staffing level of 0.7, the seven-day care guarantee and a thousand new doctors will get done. We can’t push it completely over the finish line; 4,000 nurses and doctors are needed, but there’s no money,” Rinne was quoted as saying during a panel discussion in Helsinki on Wednesday by Iltalehti.

The Finnish government has committed in its programme to introducing a statutory minimum staffing level of 0.7 per patient for facilities providing 24-hour care. It is expected to table its proposal for adopting the binding requirement by the end of the year.

“This is a new low,” slammed Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition. “[Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services] Krista Kiuru (SDP) claimed last spring that the staffing levels can be fixed in a single month, with one clause. That’s at least a modified truth. My condolences to everyone who bought it and voted for the SDP.”

Kiuru has previously stated that the government will specify the transitional period for implementing the staffing limit in conjunction with its upcoming proposal.

Arja Juvonen (PS) interpreted Rinne’s concession as confirmation that the staffing limit will not be adopted by 2023.

“Prime Minister Rinne made a heart-stopping announcement. Rinne announced that the staffing limit promised by the government won’t be happening. It was just a big bluff and the ruse of all ruses,” she commented in a press release.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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